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Showing posts from March, 2011

Gay Short Films : 07

I Want Your Love 2 close friends one night in drunk state decide to get physically close to each other. The film focuses on how the rest of fight plays out. I think the 2 main guys acted very well and were very natural in all scenes. (7.5/10) The Golden Pin (Canada) Set in Canada, Long, an only child, has kept his homosexuality a secret from his parents. Under pressure from his father to continue the family line, Long proposes to his long-time girlfriend Vanessa, much to the chagrin of Long's swim teammate Ryan, who confronts Long about his true feelings at their next swim practice. Sensing her son's growing distress, Long's mother tells him about a painful choice she made just before she married his father. (7.5/10) Al Buio (Italian) [In The Dark] Another beautiful film. This film shows relationships between 2 room mates. One of them is about to go out with a girl for the saturday night and the other one wants him to stay back. They get into this heated argum

Me da igual (Spanish) [I Couldn't Care Less]

I dunno why but I had some kind of expectations form this film. Maybe because gay films from Spanish have historically been good. This film started off well and promising but after a while it was nothing short of wasting time to even finish this film. None of the character sketch was built properly and it just moved from one incident to the other, from one person to another, it was just odd. Jorge, a wannabe writer is flatmate with Marta who doesn't like labels. She just has sex with men or women or whoever she likes. Jorge is also struggling that is he a bisexual. He fears that suddenly he will have feelings for men and wants to do something about it. He meets his ex-girlfriend Eva who is now running a book store. Marta introduces him to Alberto, his gay colleague. Jorge and Alberto hit it off well. Alberto offers to help Jorge in his struggle but Jorge is not sure. They do end up sleeping with each other but just literally because Jorge is not good with his drinks. Then there is

Fighting Tommy Riley

I am surprised that I had not heard of this movie before I saw it. It is such a fantastic movie specially about human relationships. It is not just a boxing movie as most would like to think, rather the film focuses very heavily on the protagonist and his trainer and this is what makes this film an experience to watch.  Tommy Riley is a young and gifted boxer, who has completely lost his self-confidence after a mistake in Olympic trails and his relationship with his girlfriend is now at stake. Concurrently we meet Marty Goldberg, an obese, has been trainer who left the ring because of a dark demon he harbors and has turned to teaching high school English. Marty is friends with Diane whom he saved sometime ago and is now a boxing promoter. When Marty spots Tommy, he asks him to call him so that he can train him. Things are going fine and the trust and bond between the 2 is impeccable. Tommy is starting to gain back his confidence. Before one of the big fights, Tommy and Marty go to Mar

House Of Boys

Wow!! What a graph this movie had! This film is definitely an emotional roller coaster. No wonder the director very sensibly divides the film into three acts focussing on different aspects and emotions. I personally think that this was a brilliant idea because that way it kinds of set focus on energies for the act. Very few films have dealt with gays and AIDS in a very mature way and with sensitivity. This film definitely succeeds in doing that after Longtime Companion. Sometime in 80s we see a young boy Frank who is very open about his sexuality and deals very bravely with his school mates teasing and bullying him. He is a free spirit, like to have sex and before its too late he leaves his parents house and runs to Amsterdam with his closest gal pal. When the gal pal decides to go back, he has nowhere to go. Looking for shelter, he quickly finds refuge in an all-male strip/show club called House of Boys. He gets both work and house to live in there with 3 other guys who work in this

Dear Mr. Gacy (Canada)

This is a Canadian film, a true story and a much better watch that most crime dramas. Based on the true story of John Gacy, an American serial killer also known as the Killer Clown who committed the rape and murder of 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978. The movie is based on the true story of a college student contacting John Wayne Gacy in prison before he was executed. Jason is an aimless college student whose only real passion seems to be criminology. The impending execution of Gacy gives him an idea--if he could find a way to contact the convicted serial killer, earn his trust and friendship, and persuade him to open up and perhaps even confess, it would make for a kickass term paper. His family, professor and girlfriend advice against it but still he goes ahead. Jason contacts Gacy by mail and even sends him some provocative shirtless photos to whet his interest. After a little research, Jason is also able to say things in his letters which are designed to estab

Prick Up Your Ears (UK)

Prick up your Ears is full of cheeky British humor and has enough pricks going up rears (if you know what I mean). My third British gay film in a row and one thing I realized while watching this film is how vastly different the British gay films are compared to the American counterparts. Another drama which is based on true real life characters, it amazes me how comfortable Britishers are with these subject sand their open-ness to make movies on these characters. The film is based on the true story of Joe Orton (British playwright whose plays included 'Entertaining Mr. Sloane' and 'Loot'). Joe Orton was an openly gay playwright in a period of time in England when being gay was still punishable by imprisonment. His childhood in Leicester is explored as he wishes to become an actor. He moves to London where he becomes involved with one Kenneth Halliwell and lives in an openly gay, albeit bizarre love/hate relationship. Orton loves the dangers of bath-houses and liaisons

Withnail and I (UK)

First things first, this is not a gay film. One of the side characters happens to be gay but that itself does not qualify this movie to be a gay film. So you might ask whey am I reviewing it here. Well, it is because i have had similar cases in the past and I will continue to write reviews here for movies which had an important character in it play a gay role. Its a film with subtle comedy nuances which not everyone can appreciate but considering it was made in late 80's in UK, I did appreciate the film better.  Withnail and Marwood inhabit a wretched, cold and dirty flat somewhere in the back-end of London, waiting (hopefully) for a call from their agents. They are totally wasted and do absolutely nothing with their life. Suddenly inspiration strikes; Withnail has an uncle, Monty, who just happens to have a little cottage in Penrith. They visit Monty, a somewhat eccentric, rich and randy old queer, who agrees to lend them the key, after some private persuasion by Withnail. Reachin

Fit (UK)

The movies is about what it is like to be gay, and how hard it can be to come out of the closet when you have homophobic friends etc. It follows the stories of a little group of students, who all participate in a dance/drama class. Watching this might remind you of the series 'Glee' but it has nothing to do with it. This film is more episodic in the sense that it focuses on one character at a time and shows their story. The issues regarding homosexuality is brought to the class' attention when their new, gay teacher begins. All of the characters are dealing with emotional issues, both homophobic friends, family issues and school bullying. The film then shows us details of 6 different students who are dealing with this. There is tomboyish Lee who everyone thinks is lesbian. She doesn't care. Her best friend is Karmel. Lee soon finds out that Karmel is lesbian. Initially surprised, she soon accepts it and remains friends. Though Karmel is at the same time having a tough

Drama (Spanish)

This film was so so heavy. Few minutes into the film and I realized that this is not going to be a simple regular watch. There was very thin line between real and surreal and acting vs reality. After a while I just gave up trying to understand where the whole film was heading and what was real and what was acting. I also gave up trying to figure out what they characters actually were. Three theater students, influenced by a charismatic professor and French theorist Antonin Artaud's acting technique, begin to experiment with their own lives, searching for real emotions and situations to bring onto the stage. Blond and bisexual Mateo, luscious Maria and conflicted gay Angel. Their obsession with becoming better actors leads them to their darkest sides, surpassing boundaries that neither they nor their teachers could ever imagine. The professor gives them various exercises which lead them to go to places in the city that they have not seen before. Each loves the other, and each urges

Morrer Como Um Homem (Portuguese) [To Die Like a Man]

This film is a bizarre collage of scenes put together to make a movie. I mean, the movie definitely has a story but there is so much extra noise that has been put in addition to the main plot that the film drags so much so many times that viewers can't help but say "Enough already!". I can see the director's intention but oh boy, did he miss the bus or what. The film is the story of an aging drag queen Tonia. Her love of life is Rosario, a drug addict half her age. For some reason she has fallen head over heels in love for him giving him lace to live, money, food etc knowing very well that he is not going to change his habits of drug and abuse. Tonia is getting old and has competition from an upcoming drag queen. At the same time, she is not too sure if she wants to undergo the sex change operation. The film randomly keeps following these characters and a host of other characters which have absolutely no bearing to the script or story of the film. FInally when Tonia g

Uomini Uomini Uomini (Italian) [Men Men Men]

This is no great cinema by any means but it is not bad either. It may show stereotypes in certain cases or incidents but the film still manages to hold your attention and you want to know what will happen next in the lives of these 4 men. It is true that a gay man's family is his friends, and this films shows the bonding that these men share with each other. The film shows lives of 4 very successful people who are close friends with each other and spend a lot of time together. Vittorio is a successful architect who is madly in love with Alex, one of his employees. Tony is into garment business and his mom lives with him. Dado is a doctor and lastly we have Sandro, a film producer who realized late in life about his sexuality. He is divorced and also has a son. They also have their fag hag Simonetta who is obsessed with beauty treatment. The film follows the love-hate relationship between these 4 men and also about potential lovers in their life and how ultimately everything ends. A

Cavafy (Greek) [Kavafis]

Cavafy is the biography of one of the most prominent Greek poets, Constantine P. Cavafy. The film revolves around desires and senses of Cavafy in a way that Cavafy's sensualism dominates the film and his poetry gets little scope. Not that I am complaining because even with all this the film progresses at a snail's pace. This film is a classic case of a gay art film. You might like it or not like it. Cavafy is counting his remaining days and is in the hospital which will soon be his last day. He is visited by a young writer who wants his approval to publish a study on the poet's life. The poet begins a journey back in time, gradually remembering all the incidents and all the people that left their mark on his life. Alexandria, where he grew up and was raised and he also worked there his relationship with his mother, his trips to Constantinople, Athens and the awakening of his personal sensuality and hidden sexual preferences are once again being reminded to the aged and exha

Gay Short Films : 06

En Colo (France) Maxime; an introverted youth who his friends are beginning to suspect could well be gay, courtesy of a truth or dare boy-on-boy kiss with cutie Mathieu that Maxime seemed to have enjoyed a shade too much. But that doesn’t mean he’s gay. Or does it? When their teacher (Coach) tells them that he is gay as well and just because he doesn't look like gays people expect, doesn't make things funny. This one incident changes so much. The students can see more openly now. (8/10) My Uncle Mario (Israel) A young boy delivers food in the summer vacation for this mother, who has some sort of a restaurant. Suddenly his uncle Mario, who lives in Italy, visits them by surprise. The boy's life changes when he follows his uncle one night to an appointment. After that night things will never be the same. Uncle Mario is gay and maybe the young boy is too but the mother doesn't want to take chances and sends back the uncle. (5.5/10) 306 (USA) Showing us a day

Manuela y Manuel (Spanish) [Manuela and Manuel]

I loved this film. There are very few gay comedies and if there are they are usually romantic comedies. This was comedy and drama and I absolutely loved it. I have a feeling if this film was in English, it would have lost its charm. I am so glad that I saw it in the original SPanish version with subtitles. Something about the Spanish language that makes this film even more interesting and a whole lot of fun to watch. Manuel has always lived as Manuela, a drag queen full of energy and talent whose job in the local nightclub is secure along with his fellow 'lady performer' Fararona. But in private his heart is broken because the love of his life Tono has left him. His landlady DOna Rosa is the mother figure in his life who although bitches, looks after him as her son. Her life is spent waiting for a letter from a man who she alway loved. Her niece also now lives with her whose husband Ramon left her for another woman. His best friend Coca confides in him that she is pregnant by a

Rivers Wash Over Me

This film was a mix between an interesting story-telling to could have been a wonderful film only if the director or the writer could have tried to not show too many things. Had they focussed on certain fewer aspects, this could have been an even better film. There are so many under or even undeveloped characters and sub plots that you have a hard time keeping a pulse on the main story line.  Sequan, a black teenager, has to move to rural Alabama from New York when his mother passes, to live with his Aunt (not sure what the exact relationship with her was). He is coming to terms with the new place. The town is all about black folks, drugs, guns etc. Sequan is bullied at school and is also raped by his cousin Michael who is a basketball star and doesn't want to accept the fact that he might be gay too. Enter Laurie, who for some reasons take a liking to Sequan and that's when he first confides in someone that he is gay. Meanwhile in the town a gun is robbed and a black boy is ki


Oh My God!! This movie had so much talking that it is unbelievable. The two lead characters can talk and talk and talk forever. Its not all bullshit talk or anything. In fact it seems very real life like, the way pauses are used or the language is used but it just tests your patience. You want something more meaningful to happen in the movie and it does but at os own pace when the viewer is already yawning away.  The story is basically of two best friends David and Jack. They are very very close to each other. David likes sleeping with women and Jack is having some problems with his live-in girlfriend Rebecca. When she can't take it any more, she decides to move to California. This is when Jack and David decide to move in together. David wants Jack to get back to a normal life meeting women but Jack is struggling internally. He has been in closet and is now finally sleeping with men. One night he tells David about this who takes it very positively. Life goes on. David meets a coupl

Swinki (Polish/German) [Piggies]

The topic of child prostitution is one of the hardest to grasp on the camera and my admiration goes to every director who has taken a shot at the topic so far. This is the kind of topic which if handled in the wrong way can come out across as very very cheap and vulgar. It needs to be handled with maturity and sensitivity. Tomek is a 14 year old boy interested in astronomy and he lives in the area around Poland and Germany. One os his close friends from school works as a prostitute. Child prostitution apparently is huge in that area in that time.He meets this teenage girl Marta at a club. To keep her happy and meet her continuing monetary demands, Tomek now needs to work. After attempting a lot of honest way to make money, he inevitably finds prostituting himself to be the only way to make what he needs. Feeling he has nobody to turn to, Tomek falls deeper and deeper down the ugly path so many of his peers have already gone. One such evening he ends up going to a client who loves to be

99 Days (Hong Kong)

This is actually an 8 part gay drama series that was telecast in Hong Kong produced by GayRadioHK in partnership with HongKong Aids Foundation. The serial revolves around the lives of 8 gay guys and cover topics like coming out, safe sex and the important of regular HIV testing. The drama is amateurish but maybe reminiscent to some of the people in the country. The story revolves around the gay community in Hong Kong. It depicts the dilemma and problem faced by most queer during their adolescent or when they started to enter the gay circle before settled down. There are stories involving gay being bullied, isolated by family, unable to find stable relationship, too attach to previous relationships, and many more. Ben is a matured guy who is still in grief on the death of his boyfriend, Zac. After Zac's death, he opened a blog entitled 99 Days. Mike has failed in his previous relationships, he ought to fun instead of love. Jerry is deeply in love with Mike, despite being very famou

Edge Of Seventeen

Edge of Seventeen is a wonderfully realized coming-of-age film about the one teen trauma John Hughes never touched: coming out. Set in Ohio in mid 80's it cleverly shows how the youngsters in that age would struggle with their sexuality and how they would have to brave all odds for that true love. The best thing about this film is that it remains true to most of the events and try to be very realistic.  Eric is your usual teenage boy who is discovering slowly that he prefers being with boys rather than girls. His best friend Maggie, who is not very sexually aggressive but she dreams of making love to Eric and being his girlfriend. It bothers Eric's mother to see the changing behavior of Eric but she feels helpless. Chris takes up a summer job at an amusement park cafeteria and meets Rod. Instant attraction leads to sex and now Eric is even more confused. But Rod has to now go back to university and Maggie and Eric have to go back to school. Eric comes out to Maggie who is hear

Grado 3 (Spanish) [Phase 3]

Now this was definitely a "different" film. God or bad? Thats for you to decide, but for me it was pretty lame. You know how sometimes people make movies just for the heck of it. There is really no reason or motivation to make a film , you just do it. This is one of those categories. The film shows 5 stories told simultaneously is 3 different phases which according to me are the introductions, talk about going into sex and then finally the actual sex. We have a gay guy and his girlfriend who keeps insisting that he might be gay because he has never tried sex with a girl. She wants to get him out of routine. Second, we have a young married couple whose sexual life has become a routine. They are coming up with ideas and finally find something that they both like. Third we have 2 ex lovers. When they meet again, they start having these sexual feelings and each one thinks that the other one is trying to get him/her in bed. Whats the truth? Fourth is a hooker. She goes to this old

Fruit Fly

This movie is a desperate wannabe. It wants you to like it so bad that it tries to have a mix of everything possible. But with constraints of actors, time, budget etc it just doesn't live upto all the expectations. Agreed it is a musical but I have seen hundred times better gay musicals. This one just seems to forced in every single department.  Bethesda is an adopted Filipina who comes to San Francisco to pursue her performance art, which is inspired by her search for her biological parents. She is lucky to find a commune occupied by a gay man, Windham, who becomes her best friend and with whom she spends a lot of time in a gay nightclub; two lesbians, who have this on off relationship; and a petulant runaway. The film just shows their time spent, their interactions with each other and random singing and dancing thrown away. Bethesda’s agenda is never really explored. Instead we get a rag-bag of tangential sub-stories including her setting up blind dates, getting horrendously dru


Heights is one more of those multiple stories somehow connected kind of films. The biggest problems with suck kind of films is always that the characters are not completely sketched out which was party the case here too. Also, the film after a while gets too predictable. Spanning twenty-four hours, Heights follows these four New Yorkers challenged to choose their destiny before the sun comes up the next day.  At the center of the movie is the about o be married couple Isabel and Jonathan. Isabel is a talented free lancer photographer who is not too satisfied with her career and wants to make a difference. She gets a job but it means postponing the wedding which she at least wants to think of but Jonathan doesn't. Jonathan is himself carrying some secret with him. When Peter comes to town to do a story on a gifted photographer known for bedding his male models by interviewing all the models, he gets in touch with Jonathan as well. Then we have Diane, a famous actress who happens to

Mambo Italiano (Canada)

I loved this comedy film. I had seen it before long time ago but got an opportunity to catch it again and get a chance to review it on my blog. Based on a statement that there can be nothing worse than being gay and Italian, this film uses this thread to spun a story around it and what a story! I must say. Thoroughly entertaining and keeping viewer's interest alive all the film while keeping a smile on face, this film is worth sending your time on it. This is the story of Gino and his family. His parents migrated to Canada right after their wedding. Anna and then Gino were born. Apparently Italian's dont move out of their house unless they get married or they die. Fearing this, Gino decides to take some action and move out. This comes as a huge surprise to his family and there is this whole melodrama. After moving out, Gino meets his childhood buddy Nino who once used to be very good friends with him but started ignoring Gino when Gino became the butt of all jokes in school and